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An ancient orchard in the village of Leigh (Surrey) is the subject of a special bequest to the village by a family who have lived in the village and supported the community for more than 100 years. When John Sidney Howard Handley Motion, who lived in Clayhill Road, passed away on 21 st April 2020 at the age of 84, he bequested that the 1-acre orchard dating back to circa 1850 that formed part of his estate, be gifted to the village for the benefit of the community. He specified that the future use be limited to an orchard or private paddock being a place for improving orchard and hedgerow management, to include an educational programme for teaching such skills as enhancing fruit production and optimum pruning techniques and to create a Wilding theme that can embrace and support wildlife and contribute to fruit yields.

At a ceremony on 30 th July, three members of John’s family handed over the Deeds of the orchard to the Leigh Parish Council who will act as Stakeholders in perpetuo. Mark Motion (son) and his two sisters Dr Sara Motion and Catherine Niessen (nee Motion) were jointly involved in the handover and joined a special lunch in their honour at the cricket pavilion to celebrate the generous bequest made by their father.

Leigh Parish Council Chair, Joanne Cambra, thanked Mark, Sara and Catherine for the amazing gift and explain how the terms and conditions will be met. “Our Council has been pleased to grant an exclusive Licence to the registered
Community Company ‘Leigh Apple Press Group’ (LAPG) to ensure that the very specific conditions that attach to this very generous gift are achieved. The LAPG is recognised for the management of the annual Leigh Food Festival, but more importantly they have a 6-year specialist record in apples and pressing which will be invaluable as they develop the vision and wider purpose for the John Motion Orchard” she said. During the ceremonials at the orchard, a sapling apple tree was planted by the three Motion family members , the first new planting there in more than 60 years. The process was assisted by Jo Cambra and Charlotte Kinloch.

The forebears of the Motion family came to live in the village in 1919, soon after the cessation of WWI. As a great grandfather to the current generation, Sidney Motion acquired the Leigh Place Estate including several cottages and some land. John Motion was born in The Priest House when it was owned by his father Graham. Soon after his marriage to Anne, John took up residence at Cleavers in Clayhill Road. Mark Motion said that the John Motion Orchard, as it will in future now be known, will provide a strong link with the community of Leigh as the residency of the family in the
village comes to an end after 102 years.

– ENDS –

Picture caption (left to right): Dr Sara Motion, Charlotte Kinloch, Mark Motion, Joanne Cambra and Catherine Niessen.

Issued by the LAPG. Media contact: Simon Ames – M: 07785 745857

Oak Processionary Moth Nests in Leigh

Unfortunately there are new OPM nest sites reported in the village. Please keep dogs and children away from the sites:

  • The spinney next to the recreation ground
  • The footpath up from the gravel layby on Bunce Common Rd.

We have booked contractors to remove the nests and this will be done in the next fortnight. There may be other so please take care. The hairs on the caterpillars can cause nasty reactions.

Leigh OPM locations

The Annual Governance and Accountability Return are available to view (2020-21)




Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Sections 25, 26 and 27

The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234)

The Accounts and Audit (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/404)



1. Date of announcement 14TH JUNE 2021

2. Each year the smaller authority’s Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) needs to be reviewed by an external auditor appointed by Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd.  The unaudited AGAR has been published with this notice. As it has yet to be reviewed by the appointed auditor, it is subject to change as a result of that review.

Any person interested has the right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested. For the year ended 31 March 2020, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to:









commencing on (c) __Monday 14 June 2021 _______________________



and ending on (d) ___Friday 23 July 2021 ________________________


3. Local government electors and their representatives also have:


·       The opportunity to question the appointed auditor about the accounting records; and

·       The right to make an objection which concerns a matter in respect of which the appointed auditor could either make a public interest report or apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful. Written notice of an objection must first be given to the auditor and a copy sent to the smaller authority.


The appointed auditor can be contacted at the address in paragraph 4 below for this purpose between the above dates only.


4. The smaller authority’s AGAR is subject to review by the appointed auditor under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 and the NAO’s Code of Audit Practice 2015.  The appointed auditor is:


PKF Littlejohn LLP (Ref: SBA Team)

15 Westferry Circus

Canary Wharf

London E14 4HD



5. This announcement is made by LAURA MANN




Please note that this summary applies to all relevant smaller authorities, including local councils, internal drainage boards and ‘other’ smaller authorities.

The basic position

The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (the Act) governs the work of auditors appointed to smaller authorities. This summary explains the provisions contained in Sections 26 and 27 of the Act. The Act, the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 and the Accounts and Audit (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 also cover the duties, responsibilities and rights of smaller authorities, other organisations and the public concerning the accounts being audited.

As a local elector, or an interested person, you have certain legal rights in respect of the accounting records of smaller authorities. As an interested person you can inspect accounting records and related documents. If you are a local government elector for the area to which the accounts relate you can also ask questions about the accounts and object to them. You do not have to pay directly for exercising your rights. However, any resulting costs incurred by the smaller authority form part of its running costs. Therefore, indirectly, local residents pay for the cost of you exercising your rights through their council tax.

The right to inspect the accounting records


Any interested person can inspect the accounting records, which includes but is not limited to local electors. You can inspect the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records. You can copy all, or part, of these records or documents. Your inspection must be about the accounts, or relate to an item in the accounts. You cannot, for example, inspect or copy documents unrelated to the accounts, or that include personal information (Section 26 (6) – (10) of the Act explains what is meant by personal information). You cannot inspect information which is protected by commercial confidentiality. This is information which would prejudice commercial confidentiality if it was released to the public and there is not, set against this, a very strong reason in the public interest why it should nevertheless be disclosed.


When smaller authorities have finished preparing accounts for the financial year and approved them, they must publish them (including on a website). There must be a 30 working day period, called the ‘period for the exercise of public rights’, during which you can exercise your statutory right to inspect the accounting records. Smaller authorities must tell the public, including advertising this on their website, that the accounting records and related documents are available to inspect. By arrangement you will then have 30 working days to inspect and make copies of the accounting records. You may have to pay a copying charge. Legislative changes have been made as a result of the restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus for the 2019/20 reporting year which mean that there is no requirement for a common period for public rights.  The period for the exercise of public rights must however commence on or before 1 September 2020. The advertisement must set out the dates of the period for the exercise of public rights, how you can communicate to the smaller authority that you wish to inspect the accounting records and related documents, the name and address of the auditor, and the relevant legislation that governs the inspection of accounts and objections.


The right to ask the auditor questions about the accounting records


You should first ask your smaller authority about the accounting records, since they hold all the details. If you are a local elector, your right to ask questions of the external auditor is enshrined in law. However, while the auditor will answer your questions where possible, they are not always obliged to do so. For example, the question might be better answered by another organisation, require investigation beyond the auditor’s remit, or involve disproportionate cost (which is borne by the local taxpayer). Give your smaller authority the opportunity first to explain anything in the accounting records that you are unsure about. If you are not satisfied with their explanation, you can question the external auditor about the accounting records.

The law limits the time available for you formally to ask questions. This must be done in the period for the exercise of public rights, so let the external auditor know your concern as soon as possible. The advertisement or notice that tells you the accounting records are available to inspect will also give the period for the exercise of public rights during which you may ask the auditor questions, which here means formally asking questions under the Act. You can ask someone to represent you when asking the external auditor questions.

Before you ask the external auditor any questions, inspect the accounting records fully, so you know what they contain. Please remember that you cannot formally ask questions, under the Act, after the end of the period for the exercise of public rights. You may ask your smaller authority other questions about their accounts for any year, at any time. But these are not questions under the Act.

You can ask the external auditor questions about an item in the accounting records for the financial year being audited. However, your right to ask the external auditor questions is limited. The external auditor can only answer ‘what’ questions, not ‘why’ questions. The external auditor cannot answer questions about policies, finances, procedures or anything else unless it is directly relevant to an item in the accounting records. Remember that your questions must always be about facts, not opinions. To avoid misunderstanding, we recommend that you always put your questions in writing.

The right to make objections at audit


You have inspected the accounting records and asked your questions of the smaller authority. Now you may wish to object to the accounts on the basis that an item in them is in your view unlawful or there are matters of wider concern arising from the smaller authority’s finances. A local government elector can ask the external auditor to apply to the High Court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful, or to issue a report on matters which are in the public interest. You must tell the external auditor which specific item in the accounts you object to and why you think the item is unlawful, or why you think that a public interest report should be made about it. You must provide the external auditor with the evidence you have to support your objection. Disagreeing with income or spending does not make it unlawful. To object to the accounts you must write to the external auditor stating you want to make an objection, including the information and evidence below and you must send a copy to the smaller authority. The notice must include:


  • confirmation that you are an elector in the smaller authority’s area;
  • why you are objecting to the accounts and the facts on which you rely;
  • details of any item in the accounts that you think is unlawful; and
  • details of any matter about which you think the external auditor should make a public interest report.


Other than it must be in writing, there is no set format for objecting. You can only ask the external auditor to act within the powers available under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.


A final word


You may not use this ‘right to object’ to make a personal complaint or claim against your smaller authority.  You should take such complaints to your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau, local Law Centre or to your solicitor. Smaller authorities, and so local taxpayers, meet the costs of dealing with questions and objections.  In deciding whether to take your objection forward, one of a series of factors the auditor must take into account is the cost that will be involved, they will only continue with the objection if it is in the public interest to do so. They may also decide not to consider an objection if they think that it is frivolous or vexatious, or if it repeats an objection already considered. If you appeal to the courts against an auditor’s decision not to apply to the courts for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful, you will have to pay for the action yourself.


For more detailed guidance on public rights and the special powers of auditors, copies of the publication Local authority accounts: A guide to your rights are available from the NAO website.  

If you wish to contact your authority’s appointed external auditor please write to the address in paragraph 4 of the Notice of Public Rights and Publication of Unaudited Annual Governance & Accountability Return.


LEIGH PC Making Provision for the exercise of Public Rights 2020-21




You are warmly invited to the Annual Parish Meeting. It will be held on Tuesday 25that 7.30 pm. The meeting will be held remotely via Zoom (join up details at the bottom of the page).

Hosted by Leigh Parish Council, the Meeting will be chaired by Joanna Cambra, Chairman of the Parish Council and is a meeting of Parish electors.


  4. CHAIRMANS REPORT – 2020/21
  5. FINANCIAL UPDATE – 2020/21
  6. COMMUNITY GROUP (list attached)


Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 831 7827 6093 Passcode: 696273



North Downs School

Leigh Lollipops

Leigh Parish Councillors (Including Playground Committee)

Surrey Councillor

Mole Valley Councillors

Rural PCO

Leigh WI



Leigh Heritage

History Group

Bell Ringers

Leigh Cricket Club


Village Hall Committee

Leigh Food Festival & Apple Press

Smiths Charity

Norwood Hill Residents Association

Leigh PC Footpath Officer


Local Parishes

Council meetings are now face to face

Due to legislation changing, Parish Council meetings are non longer being held remotely. All Leigh Parish Council meetings will now be held face to face at The Pavilion, Leigh Recreation Ground, Bunce Common Road.

To  keep everyone safe and to comply with government restrictions we ask you to note the following:

  • Try and inform the clerk if you are going to attend. A register will be taken for track & trace reasons.
  • Do not come if you feel unwell at all
  • Wear a face mask at all times, even when speaking and use the hand sanitiser provided.
  • Raise your hand to make yourself seen.
  • Chairs will be laid out spaced apart, please do not move them
  • A single toilet will be available for attendees
  • The windows and doors will be open for ventilation so wrap up warm!
  • In the unlikely event that there are too many attending for the room (up to 15), residents will not be allowed to enter.
  • Please note that the meeting minutes will be published within 7 days of the meeting.

If you cannot attend and you would like to raise an issue or make a comment, please contact the clerk (Laura) on She will raise it for you.

The next meeting is on Monday 17th May at 7:30pm.


From the Belfry – Our tribute to Prince Philip (Saturday, 10th April, 2021)

About 12 noon on Friday 9th April, the sad news was announced that Prince Philip had died. The national community of bell-ringers agreed that we should ring a single bell at 12 noon the next day. It was agreed that Leigh should join this national event.
It is traditional to ring the Tenor bell with one strike for each year of life. For Prince Philip, that is difficult to do by chiming the bell. Therefore, we were given the option to raise the bell and ring it in the English way but half muffled, 99 whole pulls (hand-stroke and back-stroke).
Shortly before midday, Helen and I fitted the muffle and raised the Tenor bell. At 12 noon precisely, the ringing started with Helen counting most carefully. Following tradition, I rang slowly, with the last 5 whole pulls slightly slower to indicate his “retirement” years. It took 11 minutes 34 seconds to complete.
We thank Adria for announcing our tribute on the Leigh web site and sending out a news flash – it was just in time for several people to join our tribute by coming to listen. We greatly appreciate their support. We also thank John Squirrell (Reigate bell-ringer) for recording the tribute – he has sent me the last part with his spoken note (2 min file) and confirmed his agreement that we shall send it to the Leigh web site.

For a list of all the bell ringing tributes to Prince Philip click here

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

Leigh Parish Council is very sad to hear of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. We send our deepest sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen and members of the Royal Family.

We will always remember the lifetime of service that His Royal Highness devoted to Her Majesty, our Nation and the Commonwealth.

Residents and members of the community are able to sign an e-book of condolence which is available at

2021 Election Mole Valley District Council

2021 Elections

Mole Valley will be holding three elections on Thursday 6 May 2021:

  • Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) Election
  • County Council Elections
  • District Council Elections

Voting and Covid-19 Safety Measures

Polling stations will look a little different this year as a range of measures are being put in place to help keep us all safe. These include:

  • Hand sanitising stations. You will be required to use hand sanitiser as you enter the polling station.
  • You must wear a face covering (unless you are subject to an exemption).
  • Some Polling stations will be operating one way systems where possible.
  • Signage and 2-metre markings will direct you to follow a one-way system (where possible) to the ballot paper issuing desk and beyond.
  • Polling stations will be adequately staffed. All staff will be wearing masks and visors, and they will be on duty to assist you and ensure that contact surfaces are regularly cleaned throughout the day.
  • We would recommend that you bring your own pen or pencil to mark your ballot paper.
  • We ask that you take your poll card (and any disposable mask/rubbish) home with you to dispose safely and securely.
  • Social distancing requirements will mean that the capacity for each polling station will be reduced, so we would advise that you are prepared to queue outside whilst you wait to vote. Please make sure you come prepared for any adverse weather whilst you wait! Try to avoid peak times if you can, like lunchtime and after the school run.

If you do not wish to vote at a polling station in May, you can vote by post or by proxy. Information about, and the deadlines for submitting an application to vote by post or proxy, may be found at the bottom of this page.

Census 2021

All households in Surrey will have received a letter in the post from Census 2021. The access code on the letter is unique to your household and it’s really simple to fill it in online, which is quicker, more efficient and more environmentally friendly. If you’ve lost the letter then go to to get another. However, that’s not for everybody and the letter also told you how to get a paper form, and how to access help if you need it. If you need a form then you can just ring 0800 141 2021. We’re also encouraging people to get help from friends and family to complete their census if they need to. If you or they need more information about that it can be found on the website or again on the freephone number. 

You may have already seen the distinctively dressed census staff, with their i/d cards, on the streets. If not, they are raring to go. They’ll be visiting households from which we’ve not received a completed census form. They’ll encourage people to fill in the census and help them to access further help if they need it. They won’t need to visit houses if the census has already been filled in, so we are encouraging everybody to do so as soon as possible – you can fill it in now if you know who is going to be at home on Census Day (21 March). 

In organising the teams, our main concern is the safety of the public and our staff. We want everyone to be safely counted during the census. To do this, we’re making sure that our plans are always in line with the latest government safety guidelines. As you can imagine, that means that they have been under constant review and been regularly tweaked. Our field officers will be working in the same way as a postal or food delivery visit. They will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment and will never need to enter your house. 

At the end of last year, some people asked me whether the census would go ahead and why now? We are all geared up and, equally importantly, the information it provides is incredibly important. The Office for National Statistics has used past census information to help us understand how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected people in different ways and respond accordingly. Census 2021 will give us fresh information to improve our understanding of the pandemic. Although the questions in the census have not been changed, the guidance about how to complete them in the light of the circumstances of how we are living and working through it has been updated. The results will help to make sure that the services you use meet the needs of our changing society. This could include hospitals, schools, universities and transport. 

First results will be available within 12 months, although personal records, including anything that could be used to identify people, will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations, and nobody has access to it. 

The concept of a census has been around for millenia. The first known censuses were taken by the Babylonians nearly 6,000 years ago when they recorded details of population, livestock and the quantities of butter, milk, honey, wool and vegetables. In 2,500BC, the Egyptians conducted a census to assess the labour force available to plan and build the pyramids. And the Romans carried out a census every 5 years which required each man to

return to his place of origin to be registered – such a census decree by Caesar Augustus took Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem. 

In England, William the Conqueror conducted the first census which history records as the Domesday Book of 1086. The next official census of England and Wales was not until 1801 when it was carried out partly to ascertain the number of men able to fight in the Napoleonic Wars. The average population growth every 10 years between then and 1911 was 13.6% between then but after the loss of life during the war and the Spanish flu which followed it – that other devastating pandemic just over 100 years ago – the increase in the population decade on decade was in single figures for the first time, just 5%. It was also the only time in the history of the census that a question was asked about orphans. 

Incidentally, for those who are keen on researching family history, that means that the 1921 Census returns, taken not long after the end of the First World War, will be soon be available – from 1 January 2022, in fact. Those 1921 census details are particularly important because they will be the last ones published until 2051! All the records for the 1931 census for England and Wales were destroyed by fire in December 1942, during the Second World War, while in store at the Office of Works in Hayes in an event that was not attributed to enemy action. There was 24 hour security which included fire-watching but there was talk at the time of an unextinguished cigarette end… There was no census taken in 1941 due to the Second World War; however, the register taken as a result of the National Registration Act 1939, which was released into the public domain on a subscription basis in 2015 with some redactions, captures many of the same details as the census and has also assumed greater significance following the destruction of the 1931 census. 

The 1911 census was the first to use punch cards with mechanised sorting and counting machines; and in 1961, electronic computers were used to process the data – although the production of statistics from these computers took 5 ½ years! The Census Act of 1920 made completion of the census compulsory and this legislation is still in force today. 

Over the years, the structure and questions in the census have evolved to reflect the changing nature of society. The 1871 census added the categories of “lunatic” and “imbecile” to the “list of the infirm” and 1911 included questions about marriage and fertility. Before the 1951 census, women were asked to be more honest about their age although many women felt that questions relating to their age were too personal. From 1951 until 1991, households were asked if they had an outside toilet and the reference to “housewife” in the 1971 and 1981 censuses was replaced by “looking after home or family” in the 1990s. 

A question about income was tested in 1968/9 but not included in the 1971 census as the tests showed that the accuracy of responses was questionable and this question could lead to a fall in response rates. There is still no income question in the census questionnaire. 1991 also saw the introduction of questions about ethnicity. For the first time since 1851, information about religious belief was collected in 2001 

For more information, visit

Covid-19 national lockdown update

Unfortunately we still find our lives disrupted by Covid-19. The national lockdown is essential to help fight this virus.

Should you need any help please be reassured that the Leigh Community group is still very much willing and able to help. You are not alone. If you are self-isolating due to COVID-19, just call them and they will do their best to help you (for free). They can arrange help with:

  • Picking up shopping
  • Collecting prescriptions
  • A friendly phone call
  • Posting Mail
  • Urgent supplies

BEN CAMBRA – (01306) 611214

JO WILKINSON – (01306) 611286


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